{5 years} and an exciting update!!

For anyone who’s still reading this blog, today marks five years since a 13 year old girl with a crazy dream started putting her words online. As you’ve probably noticed, The Damsel’s Retreat has been napping for a while. So I wanted to give y’all a really quick update on where I’m at and what the next little while may look like.

Back in April, I decided to apply for a missions training program. It is about two years long and starts with eight months of intense bible training and missionary prep. After that, I and a team of my classmates will be sent out to some city around the world for at least 13 months to intern with a full fledged missionary who needs help with their ministry. There are a ton of different ministry opportunities available with this. There are orphanages, homeless ministries, biblically based language programs to teach, deaf ministries, and so many more.. So many people just waiting to be reached with the Gospel. I can not wait to be a part of bringing Jesus’ love to people who’ve never heard of Him.

So all of this means that The Damsel’s Retreat gets to nap for a lot longer and I will be starting a new blog that is devoted to what life looks like in mission training and on the field as well as any little inspirations, funny stories, or happy “God moments” that happen along the way. Got it? So y’all stay tuned and I’ll have that info up here as soon as possible.

God bless y’all and thanks for being a part of what has been an amazing journey for me. I hope that you have been blessed and will continue to be blessed by the posts and archives here or at least that you’ve been able to see a little into my growth and life.

Love y’all a bunch and don’t forget to check back soon. My new blog will be up by August!

Blessings,

Moriah

 

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God, I want to be a kid again…

lightstock_178104_download_medium_moriah_faith A Prayer from Matthew 18

I’ve wanted to be the coolest, the prettiest, the best. But You showed me a little kid. You said I need to be like her if I want the best — Your best. That kind of humility is what You want to see in my heart.

And God, the innocence of that child is so easily messed up. You hate to see her stumble. You hate it when someone makes her fall. So, give me that purity of heart. Let anything dirty in it make me vomit. I would rather be with You than to enjoy those things that make you sick.

Father, You treat me like a princess. You’ve even assigned angels to care for me. You know I’m stupid sometimes, like a sheep that runs away from it’s safe home. But God, You are a good Shepherd. You’d drop everything to go find me and bring me home. You smile when I’m back in Your arms.

And Lord, there are times when other people hurt me or someone I love. Sometimes they don’t listen when I confront them. Sometimes they don’t listen to anyone. But you know their hearts. I trust you to take care of it. You’ve promised me that whenever I pray about the things that bother me, You will listen!

Jesus, I’ve struggled lately with forgiving the people who hurt me over and over. I get frustrated. I mean, how many times should I forgive them before I just give up? But your answer every time is “keep forgiving them because I keep forgiving you.”

God, You have seriously forgiven me so much! It would be ridiculous to hold a grudge against someone else when you’ve wiped my slate clean. Thank you for loving me that way! Thank you for showing me how to love others!


I got some great responses back the last time I posted a prayer like this so I wanted to share another one. If you can’t tell, it comes right out of Matthew chapter 18 which is a passage that I’ve been challenged with recently. It’s so cool to be able to go to the Father with whatever is on our hearts and just pour it out. Praying the scriptures has really helped me feel more connected to God’s word. Instead of just reading words on a page, I can apply them to my situation and pray them back to God! So, what do you think? Leave a comment below!

I hope you have a beautiful rest of your week!

Blessings,

Moriah

30 Day Cleanse Recap!!

lightstock_366519_download_medium_moriah_faithAlrighty, folks! It’s time for the big “I’m a better person now and maybe next time we’ll all go vegan” post!!

So, if any of you weren’t aware, on December 23rd I challenged myself to 30 days of cleansing my life. And in case you weren’t fooled before, it was more of a “discovering my weaknesses” challenge.

I had set the ending date on the day of my SAT test (it went well, Praise God!) and included studying for that as an educational challenge in addition to the health, fitness, spiritual growth, social media fast, and general life reassessment *ahem*

My first step, as you may remember, was quitting the job that I had for the last year. Thankfully the transition to being unemployed has been amazing for my emotional well-being. Not so much for my bank account, but anyways. That post is coming later this week. 🙂

The health and fitness part was an interesting challenge because I’m a total foodie AND stress eater. However, my love for running seems to make up for that… for the most part. My siblings and friends dragged me out nearly every day for a 4+ mile run. I was kind of a failure with the muscle fitness routine I had planned (sorry, Hannah😢) but did get in quite a few workouts.

On to the social media fast. My main reason for doing this was to eliminate stress and to get back the time I would spend scrolling through other peoples business. I was about 95% succesful with that. I experienced less stress and spent more time doing things like writing, running, and talking to people in real life. The funny thing is, a LOT of people got engaged, married and had babies in those 30 days! Thanks, Facebook.

Now here’s the Jesus part! And I really hope you’re still reading. God has done some seriously cool things in my life this last month! He moved in hearts during coffee dates where acquaintances became new friends and old friends became closer friends because Jesus was there. He brought me to meeting several new people through unusual circumstances. There was even a total “God moment” where I found myself holding a friend who was bawling on my shoulder for ten minutes. A week later, she and I got to talk about how God was already using some really terrible situations in her life for good! What’s more? Over the last weeks, I’ve sensed God’s presence so much more. I’ve felt His smile in the sunshine and the rain and the sunsets that dip below the treeline. As a penpal of mine wrote me today “the difference is Jesus.” The difference is always Jesus.

So, I just wanted to give y’all a couple of examples of ways that we can tweek our daily routines to live healthier, happier lives and serve our God better! Always remember, the better YOU are doing physically/emotionally/spiritually, the more you can improve your environment and the living quality of those around you!

Is there something small that you want to challenge yourself with in this next month? Leave your thoughts in the comments!!

Blessings,

Moriah

It’s raining

unnamedJust a typical weather report. Nothing to see here.

I’m kidding. So thank y’all for the patience the last couple weeks. I have two different posts coming out soon that I’m pretty excited about. But first…

I just want to take a moment to thank God for this last week. I have the SAT on Saturday (so prayers for that) but I haven’t been stressed about it! God has given me peace and good sleep almost every night this week, despite my staying up late. I had two pleasant dreams this week and just woke up happy. And to give some context, I hadn’t actually felt happy in a while. I’ve been okay, no worries. But not exactly happy. And then this morning, kind of out of the blue, my church rolled out a plan for starting small groups, which is awesome!! Not to mention that the sermon on Acts 2  gave me chill bumps! Also, I’m scheduled to meet up with two different friends this week who are kind of ministries of mine. I’m hoping I can encourage them because their lives are definitely harder than mine right now. Next, and this is random, I was surprised with free shipping on several items I had in my online shopping cart. I had put off that purchase because of how expensive shipping was and today *boom* free shipping!
And now, guess what! It’s raining! And I love the rain! So thank God! 
All of that to say, I just want to encourage y’all to choose to see God in the little things. Those little blessings that keep us going, that’s just God’s grace! Not every week of my life is this easy or feels this good, but I’m ridiculously thankful for this one. 
I had a sweet friend tell me the other day that she had stopped trusting God because her life was just too hard. I can’t blame her for questioning her faith after loosing three people in her life to suicide. But here’s the thing, she had closed her eyes and heart to God because of something evil. Now just for the record, God is good. Everything He does is good. God hates evil more than any of us do! My friend couldn’t see God in her life because she was looking in the wrong place. God’s goodness is all around us! So is evil, by the way. But we have to learn who to blame.
So right now, I’m blaming God for the way He totally made my week!
Look for the good! That’s where you’ll see God!
Blessings,
Moriah

What happened to 2016??

lightstock_203208_medium_moriah_faithIt’s almost twelve midnight. It’s the night when this year becomes last year and I have to start putting 2017 on my papers. Wearing pajamas and listening to Spotify in my bedroom after a long day of work helps. But I can’t drown out the fireworks going off in the street or the loud banter of neighbors who are obviously a little drunk.

I always loved New Year’s. It was a chance to start over. To open a new page, set some goals, and be a better me. But this year it doesn’t feel like a celebration for me. Perhaps I’ve grown up a little, seen reality and decided I don’t like it. Maybe I’m not ready for the new year because I’m still trying to figure out this last year.

God has brought me through a lot of stuff in 2016. Some of it was really beautiful, some was kind of disappointing, and some things were straight up terrible. But God has stayed the same. I never really knew what that meant before; God staying the same. I always felt like since I was discovering God more, He was becoming something new to me. I realize now that it was only my eyes that changed. I’ve come to see God differently, more completely. And it’s changed my life.

2016 was a year of incredible growth for me, much like 2015. So I wanted to share just a few quick things that I’ve learned through my experiences this year.

– Skipping a season of sports taught me that I didn’t need to live up to other people’s expectations to be successful. Also, that it’s okay to cut off negative relationships.

– Working in customer service in the food industry taught me to be wise with who and what I invest energy and emotion in. Sometimes you have to shut down, stop caring, and fake your way through the rest of the day.

– Taking dual credit college classes taught me how to organize and pace myself with studying, and that higher education is both doable and worth doing.

– Being a team leader  in cross country taught me that love means reaching out to the least noticed and always leading by example.

– Turning 18 taught me that I shouldn’t have taken for granted being young and having my parents responsible for signing important papers, talking to people on the phone, and paying for everything.

So, that’s that. I love you guys and thanks for being part of such an amazing year! May God bless you all beyond what you can imagine or desire!

Happy 2017!!

Blessings,

Moriah

Way of loving

lightstock_176485_medium_moriah_faithI’m going to try and keep this super short because I just wanted to share this thought I had tonight. My mom and I were having an awesome conversation about different personalities and how to not just cope with them but to pull out their potential and motivate them toward that. So we got to talking about love and how, you know, you can’t build someone up like that without loving them because that’s what love is; supporting and encouraging growth. And then the question was brought up of how to love and build up someone who’s not very lovable and not very “put together” in our book. I mean, doesn’t that add this whole new dynamic? It’s easy to love a new baby until it spits up on you or you have to give it a change. See, that’s when you have to redefine love. You decide to love that person when they completely mess up, or aren’t “good enough”, or straight up stink. So this conversation kind of came full circle when we were then reminded that God loves us that way. And I don’t want this to sound cliche because it’s this amazing part of the nature of God that just captivates me every time. Think about this: we can only love other people with that unconditional love when we have experienced God’s kind of love. AND, in addition I think that we don’t really understand how beautiful God’s love is until we’ve loved someone who is difficult, and sinful, and breaks our hearts. Because that is exactly how our amazing Father loves us.

If you think that’s something to be excited about, leave a comment about a time when you’ve experienced God’s kind of love.

Blessings,

Moriah

A Christmas Poem

lightstock_378677_download_medium_moriah_faith.jpg

Something in Christmas makes my heart sing.

Some little sparkle that lights everything.

It makes the old smile and children beam.

You know its real but it feels like a dream.

I’ll set out to find where it comes from.

So journey along if you want to come.

In houses we see families gathered.

Celebrating the good things that matter.

On the corner there’s folks handing out,

Goodies for kids that are living  without.

In churches with doors all wide open,

The lost are healed from hearts that were broken.

Stores play the songs about our Jesus.

And no one protests because it’s Christmas.

Now let us take a moment and pause,

For I believe we have found out the cause.

The cause for the joy and peace and cheer.

The cause for smiles at the end of the year.

The reason we gladly give and care.

The reason we reach out with love and share.

It’s God in the flesh, in hearts of men.

It’s Christ our Lord who is coming again.

It’s a love from the throne of heaven,

Born to us as a babe in Bethlehem.

 

Merry Christmas to you all!

Blessings,

Moriah